'Thermae Romae' launches online at Amazon

Bath house comedy also confirms appeal in Italy

UDINE, Italy — “Thermae Romae II,” the follow-up to the smash 2012 time-traveling comedy “Thermae Romae,” has become the fastest Japanese pic to pass the two million admissions mark this year. By its 15th day on release “TRII” had sold 2.23 million tickets for a cume of JPY2.87 billion ($28 million). That compares with the JPY5.98 billion ($59 million) achieved by the original.

The comedy, about a bathhouse architect (Hiroshi Abe) in ancient Rome who tries to bring peace to a fractious Empire with ideas drawn from his time travels in present-day Japan, won the My Movies award bestowed by Internet voters at the recently ended Udine Far East Film Festival, with director Hideki Takeuchi in attendance. The original pic was awarded the same prize when it had its world premiere at Udine two years ago.

Tucker Film, the film distribution arm of the Udine fest organization, will release “Thermae Romae” in Italy this June. 

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